Metropolis, Tokyo’s popular English weekly, published my story on social networking sites in Japan yesterday:
Mi-chan likes his coffee cold. Every morning, the Kyoto University athlete wakes up in his tiny apartment, washes his face in the sink and wanders over to the fridge, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes while reaching for a carton of pre-made Nestlé coffee and milk to mix it with. He wanted to find others like him, so he created a community on Mixi for those who start their day with a cup of Joe. In the first week since its inception in mid-August, Mi-chan’s community has a dozen members. Not a bad start for a guy who spends most of his spare time on the tennis court.
Mixi is Japan’s biggest cybercraze. A community portal like the US’s MySpace and Korea’s Cyworld, the two-and-a-half-year old site has quintupled its user base in the past year and now ranks third in page views nationwide, trailing behind Yahoo! Japan and Rakuten, but beating out the massive online bulletin 2ch.net.